If you don't have a video game console from this generation, well, shame on you. But if you are looking into buying one for yourself or for someone else, you'll want a good idea of which one to pick. It's not as simple of a decision as it may seem, especially for those unfamiliar with the technology.
When it comes to major consoles, you have three to choose from: Nintendo's Wii, Microsoft's Xbox 360 and Sony's Playstation 3. There's also the option of instead going with PC gaming, which can mean buying a pre-built gaming rig or building one yourself. While the consoles may be seeing upgrades soon, it probably won't be for another couple of years so it's still a good idea to get in on buying now.
The Wii is the cheapest of the three consoles, so if you are going solely for budget, it's a good pick. The games are all the same price across the board, unless you find sales and promotions going on. But the Wii is good when you want to get the initial system cheap. Video games for the Wii consist of major franchises that we loved as kids, like Zelda, Metroid and Mario, and a lot of party games as well as family friendly titles. It's the console to choose for the family entertainment system or for the pirson who has been gaming since they were young and love the nostalgia of the old franchises that keep on trucking.
The Xbox 360 is the kind of console for the hardcore gamer. It's for the person who wants a system solely for games, with just a few bells and whistles. It carries many of the same titles as the Playstation 3, so if you are looking at it for its offer of games, it won't set itself apart much except for a few exclusives, like Mass Effect, the popular sci-fi RPG.
The Playstation 3 is an overall one stop for entertainment, with its built-in blu-ray player encouraging use beyond just gaming. It also has its own exclusive games, like the Uncharted series and Heavy Rain, which may sway a person to pick one up. It's a good choice for the household with a lot of adults or the person who just wants to have a multitude of things to do in one place.
PC gaming is a pretty niche choice. This is for those who really love having the best graphics, being able to mod games, pick their own peripherals and accessories and like the option of being able to download new releases right to the computer instead of getting a hard copy.